Every year Agile Yorkshire holds its Lightning Talk Competition. It's meant to be a fun evening where those who have come forward can wow the rest of us with ten minutes of insight, wisdom and dazzling presentation style. We keep on trying to improve things and this year we have a fantastic line up with more speakers than ever before and some amazing (and significant) prizes to give away.
The Lightning Talk format is simple. Stand up for ten minutes and talk about pretty much anything that's likely to be of geeky or agile interest to the rest of us. We're going to hand out score cards to everyone and tot up the numbers at the end for a grand prize giving before dashing to the Midnight Bell to unwind.
This year we've had an amazing response to our call for speakers, resulting in the top class final line up below. To get through the evening efficiently strict time keeping will be enforced. The ten minute limit will be marked with some kind of loud, hopefully gong based, noise. Also audience participation in the form of a countdown, wolf whistling or raucous shouts of "git orf" will doubtless be encouraged!
The full list of speakers, in no particular order, is:
Andy Stewart: Test Anti patterns - a look at some of the most 'popular' test anti patterns
You're team of agile superheroes are beavering away delivering value to a customer. Watch out though as a group of super villains are lurking in the form of test anti-patterns ready to drag your velocity down. Here we take you through some of the master criminals ready to put a halt on your project.
Bio: Andy Stewart has worked in IT since 2000 and currently runs an independent consultancy based in Leeds. He has spent the majority of the last 5 years delivering high volume and performance messaging systems for a variety of sectors. Andy is a keen advocate of development techniques that allow teams to remain agile and responsive such as TDD and CI.
Amy Thompson: Scrum-tious Scrum Adoption: Top Tips for a Successful Recipe
Sometimes its hard to know where to start with an Agile Adoption. How do you get the team on board? What happens if they resist? How do I teach the team to become high performing Scrum teams? Here are my tops tips that really help when implementing Agile.
Bio: Winner of Best Agile Coach or Mentor at the UK Agile Awards, November 2013, Amy is a scrum.org Certified Professional ScrumMaster and is passionate about Agile. Having worked with major players like Orange, her current role as ScrumMaster and Agile Coach at thebigword has seen her successfully implement Agile using Scrum and Kanban to both development teams and the wider business at thebigword.
Ash Winter: Just enough, just in time?
Old habits can die hard. There is still a propensity to want to know everything up front before starting a project. I'll cover the symptoms, some practical short term and longer term remedies, all in ten minutes.
Bio: Tester, Scrum Master, Stater of the Obvious. Spent the past 5 years in organisations aspiring to transform to a new way of working. Believer in the power of testing to tell the story of that journey.
Ivor Tymchak: Tell stories not data.
You're in possession of an interesting new fact, great. What do you do with it? You want to tell the world of course! But will the world listen?
Sure, if your story is powerful enough. That Co2 fact you uncovered, how is that going to impact on the world? A particle that gives mass to molecules - lets call that the God particle and get the media interested …
Stories is what makes up your entire world.
Bio: I was born a human being, wet and slippery. I went to school. They tried to teach me many things there but because I was curious about the world they struggled to smash every bit of creativity out of me. I discovered that calling myself an 'artist' gave me special powers.
Once I discovered the art of 'smoke and mirrors' I could reinvent myself whenever the situation required it. For this event I will be the geek who discovered that there is real power in story telling …
First rule of story telling: intrigue the audience.
Paul Berwin: Can you have a contract to capture an agile project?
The content is in the title - why is this a challenge; what actually happens; how safe is it to go ahead without a contract?
Bio: Paul is founder and senior partner of 40-strong law firm Beriwns, based in Harrogate but with a digital-specific office on Leeds waterfront. He has been involved in the creation and negotiation of contracts for technology companies and digital agencies since the mid 1990's, with clients both Yorkshire based, and nationally and internationally. He has a long standing interest in Agile and has shared his own agile development contract with a number of local Agile practitioners to keep it current and workable
Simon Davy: Turtles All The Way Down
Turtle Graphics as a classic if simple tool for teaching programming concepts, still in wide use today. What if our turtles could do more? See each other? Interact with the world? What kind of things would that enable?
I'm been working on enhancing Python's built-in turtle module with some of these ideas, as well as using OpenGL to render the turtle massives. Talk will include some demos of current progress.
Bio: Web Developer for Canonical by day, ninja turtle wannabe by night. Interested in distributed systems, devops, scalability, OpenGL, and turtles.
Stephen Blower: Testers: Stop moaning and prove your worth
Throughout my time in testing I have noticed a common theme, one that mostly sees testers in a different light to the development teams. Testing is something that begrudgingly has to be done but, ultimately, is not skilled work. I have worked within a spectrum of organisations and overall, people don't respect testers and see them negatively; even testers themselves. So why with seventeen years of experience, covering seven organisations has this negativity been a common theme? Why is it that other testers often see it this way? Who created these opinions? Is it just me or is there something else going on here? I will address some of the negative views; why they are often propagated and what testers can do to combat them.
Bio: With more than seventeen years of testing experience within a multitude of testing fields from gaming, internet service provisioning, gambling, financial services and version control organisations, Stephen Blower has seen the testing industry evolve from strict dogmatic practices to more flexible context driven ways of working towards delivering quality. Stephen is a strong advocate for tester recognition and he does not accept testing being left to the end. He often provokes debate on what is often seen by non-testers and testers alike as an industry stuck in the middle ages, inflexible and stagnant. To promote this he organises a regular peer group for those involved within development where the tester’s role is hotly debated and controversial topics are encouraged.
Steve Carter: Agile is an adjective
Claiming to "do agile" can get you into trouble. Accepting work from people who "do agile" can get you into trouble. I'll argue that agile isn't something you do, it's something you become, and suggest some habits of thought that might help you avoid the pitfalls.
Bio: Steve is dev / scrum master and agile advocate on a brownfield project with a large BDUF spec and a viscous, fragile legacy codebase and tooling. The codebase is now a decade old and the team has been "doing agile" for only the last three years. Steve's principal interest is in creating effective communication and feedback loops to encourage all team members and stakeholders to be more aware of the impact of their decisions.
James Jeffries: Queues, Kanban and Cross Functional Teams
Pre-assigning work to individual workers in a Kanban system can create hidden queues. I intend to discuss techniques we can use to highlight this and how we can prevent this with slack and cross functional teams.
Bio: Developer at Brooks Automation. Interested in making interesting things and the way we make interesting things. Particularly using agile and lean approaches.